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Greetings and Salutation! My name is Belinda, I am 16 and live in Queensland. One unique thing about me is my fascination of history and human behaviour.
I have been caring for my mother for 5 years. My mother requires care because she suffers from a diagnosed physical disability. This has now been broadly labelled as 'Chronic Pain Syndrome'. My little sister also has ASD and ADD. I have to care for my family because my ex-step-father could not handle the responsibilities of caring for his unwell spouse (my mother) and his overwhelming daughter (my sister), so I was left to pick up the pieces after he left.
However, I also have to motivate my mother to keep studying to complete her bachelors. Her mind and intellect needs to be exercised just as much as her body. My 5-year-old sister also just received her diagnosis of ASD so this essentially means I am a young carer to two members in my household, where it is only my mother, my sister and I who live together. Just like me I’d imagine other young carers would also have to care for their younger siblings as well.
A good day caring for my family looks like not having to stress before and during an outdoor excursion and bad day caring for my family looks like not having enough time in a day. In all honesty, being away from my family makes me feel guilty.
Being a carer has changed my life because I have had to take on a much bigger responsibility than most of my peers have to. Because of my caring role I am unable to have as much time to complete assignments for school, and I am constantly missing content for exams from the time I have to dedicate to my family.
Being a carer has taught me to appreciate the small things in life. I would cope better with my caring role if I could have some independence when I get older, but hopefully things will be different in time.
I would like others to realise that you don't always have to succeed. You are allowed to fail, whether it be at school or in life, as long as you keep going and get through it. My piece of advice to my fellow young carers is each second is one moment in time, and eventually you will be in a different moment in time and you will get to where you want to be, as long as you are patient with time.
I wish everybody good luck in their journey as a young carer.